This report provides estimates of the economic cost due to productivity losses arising from absenteeism, presenteeism and early retirement due to ill health. For Saudi Arabia, these losses equate to a total of 9.7% of GDP by 2030 as shown in Table ES1. This is the largest impact of any of the countries included in this study as comparator countries. The majority are middle income developing countries from around the globe, although the US, Japan and Singapore are also included.
These estimates are driven by the intersection of an ageing workforce with the high burden of chronicdisease, now increasingly prevalent in developing, as well as high income countries. Of the comparator countries, Saudi Arabia has a double problem. Its population is ageing rapidly with those aged 50-64 expected to increase by 4.6% per annum from 3.9 million in 2015 to over 6.0 million by 2030. Moreover this age group is the least healthy of the comparator countries. It has the highest burden of disease arising from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) of any of these countries driven by relatively high rates of mental illness, diabetes and heart disease. Its BMI levels are significantly higher than any of the other countries, particular for women, of whom almost half would be defined as obese.